I am extremely happy that I decided to do my MBA full time. My initial feelings about this decision revolved around personal preference, priority-setting, and work habits. Essentially, I wouldn’t have anything else to worry about, so I could excel at this one thing using the methods that I choose.
What I did not expect was the result and effect on me of 63 other people making this same decision. Everyone has their unique reasons for taking a “break” from their lives or careers to go back to school, but the collective outcome is marvellous.
Where undergrad is a mixed bag of effort/passions, graduate school is an organization of peers who share the same goals and whose intentions are to achieve them with excellence. We are immersed in a culture of passionate leaders. The why we work is all around us.
Further to this, even the way we work is being refined. We are assigned to small groups of 4-6, whose constitution we were not in charge of, nor can we change, and who will remain constant for the duration of the program. All classes have deliverables for which group effort is necessary and the results submitted in common.
It is necesary to adapt to the personalities and work habits of your group members. Even more so than in working life, we have little freedom to “do our own thing” or “do it my way” when it comes to group work on cases and projects. We each offer our input and exercise resistance against the other members and the collaborative process.
These two realities, immersion in a group with common goals and passions and the imperative of teamwork, are working together to transform us. How we think about our careers and how we achieve our personal goals is influenced by the crowd. And we are privileged it is so. The way we work with others is challenged, and our preferences for how we get things done are experiencing change through the small groups.
Working full time at an MBA will be better for me – I knew this before – but only now do I understand deeply why.